From Fashion to American Wine Classics

Paris Men’s fashion week just wrapped up and the presentations were refreshingly luxurious. One show that stood out particularly to me was the D&G presentation. An edgy and handsome young Black man opened the show wearing a luxurious fur vest, low-rise and drop crotch corduroys,  D&G sneakers, headphones hugging the neck all serenading a vintage styled “Enjoy Coca Cola”  t-shirt. It was interesting because I had just watched the CNBC special on Coca -Cola the night before.  The classic Coca-Cola jingle, “I’d like to teach the World to see…”  immediately came to mind. That statement making commercial featured teenagers of different cultures, nationalities and religions, singing about love, peace and Coke.  Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana got it! They hit the nail on the head with the very first look of that runway show. There is much prestige and prominence behind the power “Pop” and the impact is undeniable. CNBC’s news feature focused on the business, marketing, innovativeness and challenges of today’s Coca-Cola compared to yesterdays, as more popular drinks emerge in the market daily.

I have always been a Coca Cola drinker. My Godfather has worked in the corporate offices of Coca Cola every since I can remember. So for the love of the great taste, and the love of my Godfather, I still to this day, Enjoy Coca Cola-the Diet edition. Nevertheless, it is a classic American drink with regal heritage. Of course, this got me thinking about Classic American Wine brands of the same caliber and echelon.

The Kings of American Wine are certainly Ernest & Julio Gallo. E&J Winery is currently the largest winemaker in the world according to Wine Biz News and Wikipedia. The brothers started their wine venture shortly after Prohibition and the family hasn’t looked back since. Andre Sparkling is the best -selling brand of sparkling wine in the United States with a retail price of around $4.99 a bottle. Carlo Rossi, named after Charles Rossi, an E&J salesman at the time and relative by marriage. Today it is considered jug wine and is still packaged in the large round table wine bottle. And Boone’s Farm, which is often times the subject of many cheap wine jokes, was once considered THE wine of choice and is one of the most popular brands in the history of American wine. It was originally an Apple wine.  It was later produced as malt based beverage instead of wine based.

Some other classics that come to mind are Beringer Vineyards and Kendall-Jackson Vineyard Estates. According to their website, Beringer is considered Napa’s benchmark producer since the establishment of the vineyard in 1876. The most popular wine, White Zinfandel, has been drunk by at least everyone who drinks wine at least once in their lifetime. Now, I can’t prove this, but would bet a hefty wager on it. Sutter Home Winery/Beringer Vineyards produced this pink, sweet mystery wine in the early 1970’s and it was an instant hit and the rest is of course, history.

 Kendall-Jackson is another extreme popular brand. I remember relatively 7 years ago going to house parties and gatherings around the holidays. Every single event had Kendall Jackson Chardonnay. I could not escape it. It was everywhere I turned and looked. And sometimes, that was the only white wine available.  The Kendall-Jackson winery helms from Sonoma County and is today considered the highest selling brand in the “Super Premium” wine category (wines over $15) in the United States.

 These classic American wines are the very fabric of American Wine. Just like Coca-Cola, they are seen by everyone and enjoyed by all. Classic indeed.

photo by Yannis Vlamos for

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